I just bought a new house and I am trying to sort out the hydronic system. The house was built in 1978, and a lot of the work seems to be owner/brother in law type stuff. However, the heat does work, so that is a good start. There are four zones - two upstairs running baseboards and two downstairs heating the slab. After the first month's bill that showed 226 therms, I want to have a little bit better control over the system (also, of course I am doing things like sealing up the 3/4" gaps in the windows, etc.)
Issue #1: upstairs bedroom heat never really goes full on (baseboard warm, but not producing a lot), and it also does not shut off if any other zone is on, even if its thermostat is not calling for heat. I think the culprit is the zone valve. I went ahead and bought a taco zone control unit (shown partially installed in the pic) to help sort out and diagnose these issues, and it shows a call for heat but the zone valve not open. Could it be stuck partway open? I bought a new zone valve with the hope of switching out the powerheads, but it started losing water when I unscrewed it, so I guess I will have to replace the whole valve, requiring me to drain the system. Does it sound like I am on the right track?
Issue #2: what is this valve called and how does it work?
Is it a 90 degree turn from full on to full off, or is it more complicated than that?
It is one of 8 circuits on two different zone manifolds. I am trying to isolate an unused guest bed and bath. Also, my stepmother keeps her house at 58 degrees and freaks out when ours is 70, and she is coming to stay and I'd like all of us to be comfortable. I have been playing around figuring out which valves on the manifold control which floor areas. I have turned off (I think) the two valves for those two circuits. However, they are still a little warm a day and a half later. I would think that a lot of heat is stored and I just need to give it more time, but the tubing for that circuit is also still warm to the touch. Could some water still be leaking through, or is the warmth maybe the warmer water in the circuit stratifying to the highest spot next valve? Also, I would like to eventually make the guest area its own zone - can I just install a zone valve on that single circuit, so it's kind of a sub-zone?
I'm sure to have plenty more questions, but I appreciate any help you can offer with these for starters.